World Bank Loans Morocco $250 Million to Support Green Generation Plan: byYahia Hatim

RABAT, Dec 19, 2020:: The World Bank approved this week a $250 million loan to support Morocco’s 2020-2030 Green Generation Strategy. The strategy, launched by King Mohammed VI in February, is Morocco’s most ambitious agricultural program to date. By 2030, Green Generation seeks to repopulate 133,000 hectares of forests destroyed in Morocco over the past three decades. It also aims to plant 50,000 to 100,000 hectares of trees every year. The strategy’s objectives also include the creation of 27,500 direct jobs in the field of ecotourism. Morocco hopes that the sector will reach an added value of MAD 5 billion ($563 million) by 2030.

“The strategy is a landmark plan introducing a paradigm shift in the way Morocco envisions agricultural development by moving from a singular focus on production to one which encompasses building human capital, fostering livelihoods, and nurturing sustainable and climate-smart rural value chains,” said World Bank Maghreb Country Director Jesko Hentschel. “At the same time, the program will strengthen the country’s economic response to the COVID-19 crisis,” he added.

Morocco’s Green Generation Strategy has four main axes, as detailed by the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture. First, it seeks to create a new model for managing ecosystems, based on a participative approach. Second, the strategy aims to manage and develop forests in Morocco according to each forest’s specificities. The third axe is the promotion, modernization, and digitization of forest-related jobs. Finally, the program will create two independent agencies for the management of forests and natural parks in Morocco.

“Young people in rural areas represent an untapped potential for agricultural development. Creating opportunities for them is critical to foster the development of a modern agriculture and food sector, that can bring jobs and prosperity to rural areas,” commented David Treguer, a senior agricultural economist at the World Bank. “The program will nurture a culture of entrepreneurship and provide young people in rural areas with the tools and knowledge to use more sustainable and modern practices and technologies, hence contributing to a more climate-resilient agriculture and food sector,” he continued.

The recently-approved loan will support Morocco’s Green Generation Strategy through a joint operation with the French Development Agency (AFD). The operation’s main objective is “to make farming more rewarding and strengthen sustainable agriculture by streamlining climate-smart practices.”